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Vacaville, CA -- It's the opening act at Vacaville's state prison.

The prison in Vacaville, California lets inmates with good behavior play in bands in the prison. CBS NEWS/ KOVR

Because of years of good behavior, these level 2 inmates are given the privilege to perform their passion - music.

"Gives me a sense of calm."

Some in their 50's and 60's - incarcerated since they were teenagers. It's a state sponsored program with the hope of rehabilitation.

"God give me a gift and talent..."

And talented they are. There's everything from jazz, to old school "R and B", country, heavy metal and gospel.

And appropriately, even some jail house blues.

You would never know you're standing among men convicted of violent crimes. Some have no chance of getting out.

"It's an escape for sure..."

Escaping is not tolerated here - except through music.

"We're away. We're up in the stratosphere when we're playing. It doesn't matter where we're at. We can be here or on the streets but when we're playing we're all in that same spot."

"The energy in the room is so positive man that when you walk out of there everybody so happy."

"I like to play jazz, bossanova, salsa."

They're reminded daily of what got them here. Many take responsibility for the people they've victimized and families they've destroyed. Some are giving back beyond these prison walls by offering music lessons to young prisoners just passing through.

Life lessons on how to avoid coming back here.

"Keep pressing. Keep accomplishing."

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